Sometimes in life one feels the need to contribute to the community with something positive, something that will help others to develop. What I’m going to tell you in this letter is the period of my life in which I became an independent cultural promoter.
It was 2010 and I felt my city was dull regarding cultural and literary activities. So I decided to found a cultural movement called Blue Devils, Literature and other flames, that later on became Eternity, Inmortals of Art and Literature.
I recall the first event I organized, it was called Poetry has no gender, and it was about equality between poets. I worked very hard seeking sponsors, but finally, with the help of a few friends, I could carry on and have the event ready. I contacted young poets from different cities and they we are all very happy to come to Trujillo to show their work. I can’t say the recital was a success, because there weren’t many people hearing, but I had tremendous fun doing it.
I organized nearly twenty literary events, such as recitals, book presentations, contests, workshops and literary gatherings, mostly with the help of my parents and a few friends. I worked so hard struggling to get sponsors, I even had to spend my own money to make things happen in certain occasions. And sometimes, the people I invited would never say «thank you». I found out that sometimes good intentions are not to be recognized, that there are ungrateful people, that hate, chauvinism and selfishness exist. After six years of giving my time and efforts for free, I decided to give it up and start other personal projects.
But don’t misunderstand me, because If I could go back in time, I wouldn’t do anyhting differently, and that’s because I learnt a lot as a cultural promoter, I met lots of writers and poets, and I don’t regret anything I did regarding that matter.
What I recommend, If you want to try this experience, is that never expect anything from anybody. If you want to do it, do it, but without any kind of expectation, because people happen to be ungrateful, and you will be disappointed sometimes. I think this recommendation applies to life too, let’s do things for the pleasure of doing them, because recognition is something ethereal. Life is hard, but it’s our choice to choose how to deal with it, as a little song my mom taught me: Let us not worry / things as they come / must be accepted.
The last event I organized was called Female Poetry, honoring female poets (I won’t use poetess, because that word is no longer in use); first, I made a calling to discover new voices in my province, and then made a selection of the best works. There were nine poets participating and there was a lot of people listening, no chair was empty, even some people were standing. I can say this event was quite a success, as well as the literary gathering Howls, honoring Allen Ginsberg.
Being a cultural promoter helped me develop my social and verbal skills, because I would do as a master of ceremonies in every event, and I would also write the press releases and send them to the journals. I would do almost everything, a graphic designer, a community manager, a photographer, a coordinator, etc. It was hard work, but I really enjoyed it.
I don’t organize cultural events anymore, for I moved on to new and fresh personal projects, but I will never forget what I learnt. How about you? Have you ever organized literary events? What did you learn from the experience? I’ll be waiting for your response.